January 30, 2013
2013, Unlucky For Some

Every so often, I browse through the Pure Design Archives of blogs, posts, moans and groans of the last 9 years in France…. it always manages to bring a smile to my face! I did at one time manage to write a pretty good darned blog, full of irony and wit (much needed for the “rosbif en france”)

But joking aside, 2012 has been the toughest so far – toughest in the fact that we’re now homeowners, running a french business, with 2 kiddies in french school – and, and as obvious as it is, we’re paying for it….

Just to have my 2013 moan, i’d like to explain ‘what happened’…

We set up the business in 2007 as a ‘micro-entreprise’ – the best option in its day before the “auto-entrepreneur” came around – and we happily paid the necessary social charges by ‘prélévement’ (automatic bank transfer) up until the beginning of 2010.

I hadn’t noticed this fact until an accountants meeting in March 2010 (we’d gone through the TVA barrier in 2008 and so though it best to have an accountant).  “Where are the URSSAF payments?” she asked….  I was non the wiser of this oversight and so went on my way quietly smug that that i’d “avoided” this charge… over the next few months we noticed that the payments were still not going out, so a dreaded call to the what we could call “customer service deficient” URSSAF came around….

“We have computer problems” …. “We’ve had internal issues” …. “We’ve joined forces with another inefficient social corporation” …. “Your case is very special” were the many reasons we had over the following few months for lack of action.

“But I WANT to, sorry, I NEED to give you some money….” was all I could muster…

This went on for over 2 years – my calls, their excuses, me with cheque in hand, they with excuses…. and please make note, there were no apologies, just excuses.

My accountant encouraged me to put money aside, sell the animals, buy gold…. but nothing was to prepare me for the 11th October 2011 when URSSAF FINALLY got their S**T together….

We paid 2010 cotisations in 3 instalments of 3 months after a lot of begging, 2011 cotisations weren’t allowed to be paid in 3 instalments as we’d (quote) “already asked to pay for 2010’s like that….”  Ontop of that we’ve had over 1500€ of ‘late penalties’ and the ‘debt collectors’ at the door….

Everything has been paid off now and we’ve managed to hang onto the house but it HAS left a bitter taste in the mouth.  Its a shame in such a beautiful country, that small business isn’t encouraged, paying almost 65% tax isn’t a way to support a family – to employ someone for 1500€ / month would cost me 3000€ – its fast becoming a country where keeping your head down and working illegally is becoming the norm – i’m sure thats how it started in Greece, Spain, Italy….

Every once in a while its good to blow of a bit of steam…. I promise that all future posts will be far more cheery and design related.

N.B. Pure Design have been proud to be working legally since 2007 under the SIRET number: 48115956400022

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Pure Design are an english speaking design agency and printers based near Cannes.  We have over 20 years of experience in design, branding, development and printing and manage clients coming to Monaco, Nice, Cannes & St Tropez.


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